The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

2018 in Review: Film & TV

2018 in Review: Film & TV

We’re back with a look at the year in terms of movies and TV for me. It’s a short list, but let’s just dive right in, shall we?

I didn’t see as many movies or shows this year as I usually do. So, I’m goanna just combine the post for films and tv this year. Now let’s hop right into which ones jumped out at me this year. *There will be minor spoilers.


The Good Doctor


I have been a Freddie Highmore fan since I saw him on Bates Motel. He just had something about him that stuck with you. His star continues to shine in his new hit show, The Good Doctor, where he plays an autistic surgical resident. His portrayal of young man with autism is so authentic that it’s led many people to question whether he’s autistic off the set (he’s not). His dedication to representing those with autism is just that strong. Apart from his amazing performance week in and week out, the show is full of great characters, and the all keep you coming back weekly to see what obstacles will or won’t be overcome. It’s emotional, real and unforgiving at times, but that’s life isn’t it?

Arrow (Season 7)

With Oliver giving up his freedom to save his family, he is now a prisoner and his wife and son are in protective custody in order to stay away from Diaz (one of the show’s better villains in my opinion). With Ollie now behind bars with a lot of the same criminals he put there, things never really ease up in the tension department, with every day bringing with it a new sense of danger for both him and his family. Outside the prison walls, Felicity and William must deal with Diaz surviving last season and relentlessly gunning for them. He has connections to the point where he can find them in witness protection. Talk about dangerous eh? This show had a great season 5, and things look primed to continue its greatness (apart from the lackluster flash forwards, at least in my opinion).

Flash (Season 5)


After a rather good season 4, Flash returns for a new season with new allies that add an interesting wrinkle in the team. The new additions to the team test relationships, reveals harrowing knowledge about future events and more timey-wimey shenanigans. With that said, things are looking as entertaining (and confusing) as ever on the show, which is all I can ask for from a Flash show.


Black Panther


I don’t think I need to say much about this one. It was a cultural marvel (hehe) that took the world by storm. It united a fractured community, even if for a while, and is currently in talks to be the first superhero movie nominated for major awards. One of the best Marvel films to date, and just a great movie all around.

The Hate U Give


THUG offered an unapologetically stark look at the injustices the African-American community faces regarding police brutality and killings. It doesn’t shy away from gang violence, wrongful killings, nor does it shy away from the fallout of said events. We see others trying to capitalize off blacks being killed for their own selfish purposes, but we also see the overarching message that it all needs to stop. We can’t keep fostering fear and hate toward one another. Changes need to happen, and this film, led by Amandla’s powerful performance, shines a light on that. If you haven’t seen it, you should.



I’m a huge horror fan. You all know this. So, you can imagine my excitement when this was announced. A direct follow up to the original Halloween, retconning all those sequels? Sign me up! And man did it deliver. Michael is back, and he’s brutal as he’s ever been. And I do mean, brutal. Like taking all the teeth out of someone’s mouth brutal. We get Jamie back, and get to meet her family, who she’s tried to prepare for an encounter with Michael. When he finally escapes and comes for them, you get the sense that he can’t and won’t be stopped, despite the preparation. I loved everything about this movie, down to how they got the older actors to reprise roles, even just auditory ones. This was a classic Halloween film, and it got multiple viewings out of me.

Avengers: Infinity War


Continuity, dedication and cohesiveness. These are the things Marvel has exercised in building up their latest ensemble outing. Ten years of storytelling has led to this, and it was a great showing of what such a massive undertaking can result in. Admittedly, it did seem like half of a story, because ultimately it was. We get the true conclusion next year with Avengers Endgame. Still, Infinity War was a great movie that I still can’t shake, and we’re days away from a new year. This was Marvel at the top of their game, and I don’t see them lessening their quality anytime soon.

That’s all for movies and TV. It was a bit short, because I haven’t had much time to devote to either, but next year should be better. Tomorrow is books and games! Until then my good folks!

Cynthia Payne's "The Last Dragon Princess"

Cynthia Payne's "The Last Dragon Princess"

2018 In Review: Anime

2018 In Review: Anime